Dr. Chi Wai Chan

Dr. Chi Wai Chan

Institute: The Open University of Hong Kong

Address: School of Education and Languages, The Open University of Hong Kong, Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


Introduction of Dr. Chi Wai Chan

Dr. Chi-Wai Chan is an Associate Professor of the School of Education and Languages at the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). Before joining OUHK, he was the principal of a secondary school in Hong Kong and a School Development Officer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Now he is the leader of the programmes of Postgraduate Diploma in Education in OUHK. Dr. Chan has been a member of the Expert Group of the T-standard+ Consortium of COTAP of the Hong Kong Education Bureau, school manager, member of principal selection boards and a member of the Board of Education of a school sponsoring body in Hong Kong. He also served as the Quality Monitor of PISA (Hong Kong) in 2009 and 2015. His research interests include educational leadership, economics of education, educational policies and early childhood education.


School Leaders as ‘Edupreneurs’


Edupreneur”, which links up to the concepts of education and enterprise, does not bear a standardized meaning, although “edupreneur” usually refers to an educational entrepreneur who has made investment to develop and market an educational programme/product/service, and turn these activities into a profitable enterprise (Lacatus & Staiculescu, 2016; Lips, 2000).

Entrepreneurship, as a factor of production, contributes to profits as entrepreneurs are considered to be visionary and risk-taking. They are visionary in the sense that they dream to new technologies and products, take actions to make the dreams realized, and search for opportunities in the market in order to make profit (Bhide, 1996; Lacatus & Staiculescu, 2016). Taking actions to facilitate innovation and to make dreams come true, however, inevitably forces entrepreneurs to face uncertainties.

The new-right movement and emergence of managerialism in education have brought about school privatization and school-based management in the public sector of school education. The emphasis on economic rationality and market force in education has led to an increasing demand for accountability and competitions among schools. With the transformation of students and parents into consumers, the demand for quality education and the urge for voicing their opinions and involvement in school management have created pressure on school leaders as well as tensions between school leaders and stakeholders (Tse, 2005; Walker & Ko, 2011).

School’s continuous improvement, survival and sustainability have become the major concerns of most schools even though they are not for-profit. School leaders should be edupreneurs in that they should steer away from routine management towards leading their schools strategically so that changes and challenges can be promptly and properly addressed. They also have to dream to new technologies, services and changes as well as taking actions to make the dreams realized. Apart from the abilities of planning, delegation, empowerment and vision-building upon which stress is laid in the prevailing leadership practices and leadership preparation programmers, school leaders should be able to put challenges and problems into context. They have to think out of the box, but into their school’s contexts. In other words, school leaders should serve as entrepreneurial educationalists.